25. Work

I think the hardest thing for me to do is to remove the armor of work and indulge in the sweetness of life. In fact, this, as it turns out, is the real work – to consistently find that river of joy that carries me beyond the day-to-day and the stress of tomorrow.

Work has its place, no doubt. But wouldn’t it be great if we naturally returned to that Joyous Gard? If the mind of beauty and inspiration was much more common than that of criticism?

I liken the mind of Joyous Gard to a space orbit, floating, it seems, weightless. But to reach that point of orbit, engines are working and fuel is spent. Listen to the American astronaut Joseph Allen describe his experience in the Space Shuttle:

” When the engine shut down, I unbuckled myself from my seat and I was floating. I knew we were in orbit. We had to do an orbital-maneuvering-system (OMS) burn to get into a higher orbit. But before we even did the burn I floated upstairs – from middeck, below the flight deck – to look over the guys’ shoulders. I looked out the window and couldn’t believe it. The sun was streaming in, and you could look right down at the Atlantic Ocean. I look at the three of them doing the countdown for the OMS burn and I thought, How in the world can you do that? Look outside!”

Day 25 Guide:

Today, I want you to fire up your engine. I want to help you find your orbit.

There’s nothing you can do about the fact that it’s a Monday, right? Sometimes it’s a rude interruption to the relaxation of a nice weekend. And on Monday, more than any other day of the week, you need to feel success. You need to sense the sweetness of accomplishment and discover that even work itself can be a road to finding your orbit.

Organization and discipline should be your key thoughts today. Approach the day standing tall, with your mind focused on taking care of things.

  • Make a list of things that you’d like to accomplish today, and then attack that list.
  • Don’t let your mind feel the stress of anything beyond the items on your list. Confine your work-thoughts to that list.
  • Plan on unexpected events and consider them to be only obstacles not roadblocks.
  • Frequently refer to your list throughout the day.
  • Make a game out of attacking your list. Even punching through the things you accomplish with a hole-puncher might even give you a greater sense of completion. See how far you can get completing the items on your list.

The highest reward for man’s toil is not what he gets for it, but what he becomes by it.

— John Ruskin (1819-1900)

© 2004, Levi Hill

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